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High School Graduation and Beyond

 

Lead: Mason Matters

Key Partners: Shelton Mason Chamber of Commerce, North Mason Chamber of Commerce, Shelton School District, North Mason School District, Pioneer School District, Hood Canal School District, Mary M. Knight School District, Southside School District, Grapeview School District, ESD 113, ESD 114, College Success Foundation, The Evergreen State College, Center for Community-Based Learning and Action, and Washington State University, Mason County Extension  

Project Location: Shelton, Washington – County

Contact: Kimberly Klint, Executive Director, Mason Matters, kak@co.mason.wa.us or (360) 427-9670 ext. 543

Project Description:

Research shows that education attainment is one of the strongest predictors of individual and community health. Education levels influence income potential and job type, access to healthy food and health care, and individual health behavior choices. At the community level, public school achievement outcomes influence local economic health.

Mason Matters and its partners intend to bolster educational attainment in rural Mason County, Washington, by implementing Career and College Readiness (CCR) activities earlier—targeting 4th through 8th grades—in the county’s schools. The goal is to change the culture of this traditional logging community to support higher education aspirations. Only half of adults in Mason County have more than a high school education and 44 percent of current students pursue higher education. The development and implementation of this project aligns with the new Common Core State Standards.

Specifically, this initiative will introduce meaningful CCR curricula into earlier grades.  Currently such activities aren’t introduced until after 8th grade. Business partners will provide 'world of work' lessons in the classroom that demonstrate and expand upon the core curricula. Currently, only 54 percent of Mason County’s 10th graders report that what they are learning in school is important for later life. CCR works to address this by exposing students to career and education options so that they can see how schoolwork ties into their future. This project also includes the development of a countywide campaign that starts to challenge the community to see itself as a 'college-going' community.

Matching funds for this grant will be provided by Mason County Public Health and Mason County Public Hospital District #1

Why this work is important:

  • Research shows that with every additional year of educational attainment people have a greater chance of being and staying healthy.

  • Education attainment is one of the strongest predictors of individual and community health.

  • Education levels influence income potential and job type, access to healthy food and health care, and individual health behavior choices.

  • At the community level, public school achievement outcomes influence local economic health.

Relevant Information from the 2014 County Health Rankings:

  • Mason County ranks 31st out of 39 counties in Washington for health outcomes.

  • The county ranks 36th out of 39 for health behaviors.

  • The unemployment rate in Mason County is over 10 percent --the state unemployment rate is just over 8.

  • Fifty-four percent of adults in Mason County have attained some college education, compared to 68 percent of adults in the state.